Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Mike Shedlock is a prolific blogger. Becoming popular has let Shedlock appear through television to espouse his views on economies, politicians, stocks and bonds.

His 5.9 million yearly page views are impressive, although not as impressive as during his peak readership years of 2009 through 2012, which peaked at 22 million. Since his peak viewership, his unique page views have fallen -73.7%!

Shedlock has written quite a bit about the Greek Legislature Public Finances Crisis. Read standalone, any one of the stories written by Shedlock about the crisis seems plausible. Yet, if you were to read all of the stories in succession, giving yourself context, you would see that Shedlock writes much of nothing.

In brief, Shedlock hailed the ascension of Greek communist Alexis Tsipras to job of prime minister of Greece. Then Shedlock hammered on the idea of Tsipras telling the "nannycrats of the Trokia" to "shove it."

After the disastrous snap referendum called by Tsipras (Bizarro Theater: Greeks Vote for Grecocide), which Tsipras called on Greeks to reject a bailout proposal from Eurogroup ministers, Shedlock hailed Tsipras as a genius, more or less, the guy dictating to the Eurogroup ministers — the finance ministers of the respective countries of the Euro zone banking system.

Then when Tsipras struck a deal, contrary to his purported analysis, in seemingly mindless reaction, Shedlock called Tsipras to resign, "If Tsipras had an ounce of decency left, he would resign, put forth a new referendum, and let the people decide." Of course, if Shedlock understood what side held the winning hands, Shedlock would not find himself shocked and on the wrong side of his many predictions.

For your amusement, I've cherry-picked relevant quotes attributable to Shedlock from the flurry of stories written by him on the Greek Legislature Public Finances Crisis.

"Tsipras Trades Royal Flush for Draw at Inside Straight...Tsipras won the game. He had the backing of Greek citizens no matter what he did...Tsipras traded all that away for nothing!...Did the US bribe Tsprias with a secret account worth millions?...Is someone holding his kids hostage?" ~ Mike Shedlock, July 13, 2015
"Is Grexit what Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, really wanted all along? If so, and assuming that's what happens, he played his hand masterfully." ~ Mike Shedlock, July 08, 2015
"Does either side really want a deal? ...  both sides would be happy with Grexit as long as they can blame the other party. Let's hope so." ~ Mike Shedlock, July 08, 2015
 "Yet, the nannycrats in Brussels and Berlin still don't get it. The odds of contagion are very high. Next up: Spain, Portugal, or Italy." ~ Mike Shedlock, July 06, 2015
 "...the eurozone officials are also electioneering, so perhaps they simply feel trapped and have no idea what to do or say about Tsipras' moves." ~ Mike Shedlock, July 01, 2015
"One may or may not like the result, but this was a triumph of democracy over technocrats and nannycrat puppets...The big shock will come when Spain marches down the same path."  ~ Mike Shedlock, June 29, 2015
"ECB Cries Uncle..."Mike Shedlock, June 28, 2015
"If anyone has blinked, it now appears to be Germany and France, rather than Greece." ~ Mike Shedlock, June 26, 2015
"Greece has nothing to lose by defaulting." ~ Mike Shedlock, June 14, 2015
"Tsipras Won't Agree to Irrational Proposals" ~ Mish Shedlock, June 5, 2015
"Ever since Alexis Tsipras won the Greek election and appointed finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, an expert who wrote a book on game theory, it's been extremely difficult to determine who is bluffing and who isn't... Heck, it's very difficult to determine what most of the players really want." ~ Mike Shedlock, June 5, 2015
"Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras keeps hinting that a "deal is close" while publicly trashing every deal offer...One seriously has to wonder if this is purposeful gamesmanship." ~ Mish Shedlock, June 5, 2015
"What cannot be paid back, won't. And anyone with any bit of common sense knew four years ago." ~ Mike Shedlock, May 31, 2015
"I have read countless articles over the past few week stating a belief that Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras is bluffing in his threat to stay in the euro but default in debts...I suggest his positions are carefully crafted." "I have read countless articles over the past few week stating a belief that Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras is bluffing in his threat to stay in the euro but default in debts...I suggest his positions are carefully crafted." ~ Mike Shedlock, May 25, 2015
"Tsipras has nothing to lose and everything to gain and the Troika knows it." ~ Mike Shedlock, May 25, 2015
"Given that no changes are acceptable to the Troika, Greece's days in the Eurozone are numbered. It will be a good thing for Greece ... once they finally get the nerve to tell the Troika to go to hell." ~ Mike Shedlock, May 9, 2015
"I am convinced that Syriza will not agree to another bailout adding still more debt on top of the already unsustainable €323 billion pile...All this extension did was give both sides more time to come up with an exit strategy." ~ Mike Shedlock, April 04, 2015
"On Friday German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble rubbed Greek capitulation in Tsipras' face with his comment, "The Greeks certainly will have a difficult time to explain the deal to their voters. As long as the programme isn’t successfully completed, there will be no payout."...Let's see what happens four months from now...With roles reversed and Schäuble playing the witch, I envision Tsipras' silently saying "All in good time my little pretty, in good time". ~ Mike Shedlock, February 22, 2015
"Tsipras' claim that he wants Greece to stay on the euro...If not, then unless he gets nearly everything he wants, Grexit is all but assured." ~ Mike Shedlock, January 30, 2015
"Greece Will Not Accept Bailout Extension or Deal With "Rottenly Constructed" Troika; Mish's Game Theory Math... the Troika has its hands full with Yanis Varoufakis, an expert who wrote a Book on Game Theory...I suspect prime minister Alexis Tsipras picked Varoufakis precisely because of his skills at game theory." ~ Mike Shedlock, January 30, 2015
"A simple economic truism is that what cannot be paid back, won't be paid back." ~ Mike Shedlock, January 29, 2015
"I suggest it is pretty clear Greece cannot possibly pay back €256 billion even at 0% interest. " ~ Mike Shedlock,  January 27, 2015
"Eventually, there will come a time when a populist office-seeker will stand before the voters, hold up a copy of the EU treaty and (correctly) declare all the "bail out" debt foisted on their country to be null and void. That person will be elected...Possibilities...Greece: Alexis Tsipras - Syriza (Radical Left)"  ~ Mike Shedlock, January 03, 2015
The latter three comments reveal Shedlock's persuasion-in-propaganda strategy. Shedlock likes to create simple mantras that he repeats to his readers, hammering away at them for weeks on end. This results in his readers parroting the mantras in the comments they write on Shedlock's blog.

Such a technique is typical in cult formation. Having jargon and mantras leads to group cohesion.

Shedlock seemed especially fond of this mantra — what can't be paid back, won't. Shedlock would invoke the mantra while deciving his readers to believe that Greeks law givers needed to pay €256 billion, then €330 billion, and then later €400 billion. Before SYRIZA, Greek law givers had been asked and agreed to pay back something closer to €65 billion over 10 years. That is closer to one-fifth of what Shedlock claims.

Shedlock revealed himself to be horribly wrong about the whole Greek Legislature Finances Crises throughout the ordeal. Yet, that didn't stop Shedlock from writing.

For my view of what happened, check out MY BIG FAT GREEK STUPIDITY. THE TSIPRAS AND VAROUFAKIS GREEK COMEDY SHOW WRAPS UP. That work contains links to the rest of my writing on what truly happened with the Greek law givers.

Since 2008, Mike Shedlock has become one of the most popular bloggers who tries to write about economies, economics and politics. A civil engineer by training and historically, a computer analyst by vocation, though working today as a "a registered investment advisor representative" like many, Shedlock took to blogging when he found himself unemployed. You can read bits and pieces of Shedlock's personal story here and even more so, here.

This bit that Shedlock says of himself is quite revealing:
I started a blog in 2005 hoping to be discovered as an economic writer. Given there are millions of blogs the success of which are near-zero, one might even think such a chance would be impossible since I had no background in either economics or investing.
Shedlock has claimed to be an adherent of the so-called Austrian School of Neoclassical Economics. Shedlock claims to have become one after having read a couple of books.

Its last-known major disciple was a guy named Ludwig von Mises. Von Mises based his beliefs on the interest rate theory of a guy name Eugen Böhm-Bawerk. The Austrian School's founder, Carl Menger, had this to say about that theory:
“The time will come when people will realize that Böhm-Bawerk’s theory is one of the greatest errors ever committed.”
Von Mises  time preference theory of interest is quite wrong.
In INTEREST, CAPITALISTS AND FUTURISTIC TIME COPS, I explained how interest comes about.

Time preference is illusory. Persons buy something now — a reckoned belief in the share of the profits. There is no time preference. There are only buying preferences now.

When someone sells cash for bank credits recorded in a checking account, he or she does so to buy banking services now. That one is not being compensated so as to buy something later.

If the world operated as falsely as the Miseans believe, then why do people deposit cash in a bank when bankers aren't paying interest? According to Miseans, bankers must pay interest right now to induce people to forgo present consumption. Yet, at peak credit, deposits were $324.2 billon and today at much lower interest rate, deposits are much higher.

More so, as interest is an kind of income, it must adhere to the same law for all kinds of incomes — copyrights, annunities, wages, and the like. If interest needs one theory to explain it and other kinds of income have another theory, then either theory must be wrong or both must be. There can be only one theory that explains every phenomena of a class of phenomena.

Von Mises spawned his own school that mistakenly gets called the Austrian School. Von Mises biggest disciple was a man named Murray N. Rothbard.

Rothbard was born in the Bronx borough of NYC to Russian-Polish immigrant Jews. Rothbard's thesis advisors were Joseph Dorfman and Arthur F. Burns, the latter who went on the chair the Federal Reserve. It's a massive stretch to call Rothbard an Austrian economist.

I like Rothbard's Conceived in Liberty. He wrote excellent work about the political side of things. Rothbard was a superb champion of liberty and an incredible historian.

However, stupidly, Rothbard claimed  there exists double claims of ownership on deposits. Under commercial law, deposits get bought by bankers and they sell credit, which gives depositors rights of action. Likewise, depositors sell their cash and buy bank credits.

Shedlock believes commercial banking is fraudulent because Shedlock believes in a fallacy perpetrated by Austrian the now-dead Rothbard.

Brushing aside that no one uses money — coined metal by weight and fineness — but instead, all use cash, which is bank credit in circulation, here is what Shedlock claims in his Idiot's Guide to Austrian Economics:

If I give money to a bank and it promises my money will be available on demand, and the next moment it lends a large portion of it out, my property rights are clearly violated. What happens in such instances is twofold. I own my money. Someone else owns my money too.
Logically that is impossible. And that is precisely why it's fraudulent.

That is the basis of Shedlock's thinking and Shedlock's thinking is quite wrong. In short, Shedlock doesn't understand how commercial banking works.

This is why Shedlock opposes commercial banking.  Shedlock is quick to reference Rothbard's works What Has Government Done to Our Money along with Case Against The Fed to support his diatribes against commercial banking, especially what many call fractional reserve lending, which is more like multiple of reserves lending.

As it seems Shedlock holds this view, he believes bankers are evil as he has expressed as much on his blog. Likely, this is why he has sided with the Greeks.

Anyone who knows about Commercial Law knows that a banker is a trader who buys cash and debt by selling bank credits. In a purchase and sale, a customer, known as a depositor sells property in cash or receivables to a banker and buys property in bank credits.

With property in bank credits, the bank customer has a right of action to demand an amount of cash from his banker at a future date. Evidences of such right includes checking account bank statements and passbook savings books.

Bankers become owners of said cash, bank credits from other bankers and debt bought in a purchase and sale from depositors.

In commercial banking law, a deposit isn't a depositum, but truly a mutuum in law of a purchase and sale of cash for deposits.

A banker is a trader whose business consists in buying cash and debts by creating other debts. While the grocer buys food for resale, the banker buys cash or debt and sells credit. A banker sells credits payable on demand as cash.

More so, no one is saving his cash with a banker. In a purchase and sale, selling cash or perhaps other bank credits and buying an interest-bearing account, a bank customer is a capitalist who buys a share of future bank profits, which gets called interest.

Bankers and other capitalists deal in property with confidence in forthcoming profits, transmuting property that lacks saleability into property that does, enabling the adventurer-entrepreneur to transmute property as capital of production into property as wealth for trade.

In spite of the title of his blog publication, Global Economic Trend Analysis, Shedlock doesn't provide any kind of trend analysis. Instead, Shedlock writes up opinions rooted in fear-mongering to appeal to his conspiracy theory susceptible readers, readers who have formed a cult around him.

To let you know, I have pasted many links on Shedlock's popularly read blog referencing my works for his readers mostly to stop typing the same words in comments that I've written already. To my understanding, that is how the Internet of sharing is supposed to work. I've done so on Forbes and many other sites.

Here are my Disqus comments on Mike Shedlock's Global Economic Analysis.

No comments:

Post a Comment